Saturday, January 31, 2009

DD wannabe

Friday I talked about wanting a little bit shorter version of Dana Delaney's hair and that I was going to get it colored. I love the color, though next time I think I will go a little darker red with more intense highlights. It was fun trying to match the color of hair I wanted and we ended up with a mix of Irish Red and Celtic Red with strawberry blonde highlights. Here is the picture, but unfortunately, you can't really see the new red color of my hair due to the lighting and the fact that I don't have a professional photographer! CJ took my picture - yep, that would be my five year old. I'm still working on the perky boobs and flawless skin. That could take a while. And I am keeping some bangs, mainly because I have a large forehead and not enough cash at this time to iron out my forehead lines with Botox!


Friday, January 30, 2009

WTF Blanket

Enjoy! (You'll need to pause the music in the right hand side bar.)


Friday Fragments

It's that time again. Get your crazy, disjointed thoughts organized and join me and Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments.

  • We had three snow days this week. In a row. (And Friday is a two hour delay, which doesn't count against us.) That makes five for the year, which is our max, but only three were actually due to the snow. One day was because of Hurricane Ike, which resulted in 1.3 million people in our city and burbs without power. (This also resulted in the two following days being two hour delays.) The other day we missed? It was two Fridays ago and was because when we were having sub-zero temperatures, three high school boys broke into the transportation garage and unplugged all the bus heaters, resulting in the diesel engines being too cold to start the next morning! I guess that explains why they are not really called "snow" days but "calamity" days.
  • I was not aware that when there is an inch of ice falling from the sky that the DirecTV dish will freeze over and we lose service. I don't get it. Ice is CLEAR. How can it block a TV signal? I sent my husband out to de-ice the dish and voila, the stations were back!
  • I am kicking myself for not realizing until AFTER it snowed and iced several inches that we forgot to cover our patio furniture with that rather expensive winter cover I bought last year! The table should be fine. However, I hope the chairs make it through and we don't have to buy new ones.
  • I haven't mentioned followers lately. I'm happy to have broken the #30 barrier! Welcome to all you newbies. I hope I don't scare you off anytime soon. Anyone else want to come along for the ride? I'd love to have you join us.
  • Thanks for the birthday wishes for my husband and the kind words for my recent entries regarding my massage client, my paycheck and my friend, Beth. I appreciate everyone's support and good wishes.
  • I am really looking forward to February. My BFF told me she is putting all songs that have "love" in the title on her blog for February (which is a private blog or I would send you there!). I decided to do the same. We are not telling each other what songs we are using and we are excited to see how many of the same songs we have. We're weird like that. But hey, when you live 1/2 a world away from one another, you do whatever you can to have fun together.
  • Would anyone believe me if I said I have never watched American Idol, and have had no interest in it? It's true, until Wednesday night anyway. There was nothing else on TV suitable to watch with Big E in the room, so we caught the last 20 minutes or so. Can't say I'll be returning to the show anytime soon, but I will be curious to see how Rose Flack does. Not curious enough to watch each week, but maybe try to follow in the paper or ask around. At least now I can say I have seen American Idol, or at least 20 minutes of it. And here I was hoping I would go to my grave saying I had not ever seen the show. I can still say, however, I have never mowed the lawn. I'll work on taking that to my grave.
  • I'm still living peacefully in my world of denial about the recession I keep hearing about. I did finally decide if there is going to be a recession, then dammit, I am going to look good. So this morning, I am going to get a new hair color. Not the kind I do myself, but one by a real professional. I got my hair cut/trimmed on Thursday. This is what I am going for, only a few inches shorter. And believe it or not, when I left the salon, I had something very close to this in a shoulder length version. Now if I can only do it myself. My stylist said I can totally pull it off with the curl/wave I have in my hair. This is the color I am coming home with Friday morning, maybe a little more red. I am hoping that the cool hair will also result in perky boobs, great cleveage and flawless skin being flaunted in this photo.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Announce the schedule, please!

Holy shit. I woke up to what sounded like water spraying everywhere. It's cold here, there's been an ice storm and people are losing their electricity, so naturally, I think a pipe has burst and I am running through the house to get to the laundry room. I am not 100% sure why I think that is the most logical place for a pipe to burst, but when it's midnight and you have been unexpectedly thrust into the awake world after falling asleep on the couch watching televsion, who really is thinking clearly?

So off I go, thinking at any moment the ceiling above me is going to come crashing down because maybe it's the upstairs bathroom that has sprung a leak and the wet, flooded 2nd floor/1st floor ceiling won't bear the soaking wet weight. I go skidding through the kitchen towards the laundry room. Wait, I think the spraying water is under the kitchen sink. How would that pipe freeze? It's right in the middle of the house? My mind is going nuts - I'm still not awake but my heart is racing like mad, already worrying about how much this is going to cost, how much damage is going to be done, and worse, having to stay awake even longer to clean up the mess! So I stop, try to clear my head, and then notice the dishwasher is on. I think my husband should warn me when he sets it to "delay start".

Time to lighten it up some...

Some of my posts this week have been a little heavy, so I thought I would lighten it up some. My mom sent me this in an e-mail.

A doctor, on his morning walk, noticed an older lady sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and said, "I couldn't help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?"

"I smoke ten cigars a day," she said. "Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint. Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniel's every week, and eat only junk food. On weekends, I pop pills, get laid, and don't exercise at all."

"That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?"

"Thirty-four," she replied.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A difficult journey...

I have agreed to take part in a process that is going to be difficult. I knew it would be when I offered to do it. It is a two person journey and the difficult road is not just mine, but more importantly, my friend, Beth's, who will be leading the way.

In Dec., 2005, Beth's daughter, MK, was diagnosed with a malignant, inoperable brain tumor. I was living in Kansas at the time and felt totally helpless. Beth and her family - MK, son M and husband, D - were our neighbors in Ohio before we moved to KS. MK was at our house every morning to catch the bus with Big E. The two of them were quite close and they often played together after school. Big E even went to her b-day party, where I believe he was the only boy. Thankfully, MK was quite the tomboy and it was a pirate themed party. In June, 2006, at the age of ten, MK lost her battle with cancer. I flew to Ohio to attend her services and provide whatever support I could. I don't know if I helped, but I couldn't stay away.

Now that we are back in Ohio, Beth and I see each other on a regular basis. She is an inspiration. I don't know how she does it, but she tells me she "doesn't have a choice." I do understand that - she has a family and as she told me once "Cancer already took a part of me. I will not let it take anything else. Not my marriage, not my family. Nothing." She has started some wonderful programs in memory and in honor of MK. She is in the process of writing and hopefully publishing a book, which is where I come in. She wants to publish her personal journal she kept during MK's illness and after the loss of her beautiful daughter. I will be the one putting that journal onto "paper": ie, I am the typist. She will be recording her hand written journal entries and giving me the spoken words to type. I am so honored that she trusts me with this project. Honored to be able to hear her story, her experiences, her pain, not on paper, but in her very own "said out loud" words. In her voice with her emotions. What a privilege and a gift.

She called yesterday crying. She was surprised to find how reading those original entries stirred so many emotions, how much pain she still carries but is able to keep packed away most days. She wanted me to know that she is reading/recording between the tears and to let her know if it becomes too much for me or if I need a break. I told her I would keep the tissues close but that I would keep going. For her. For MK. I reminded her how proud I am of her and that I feel blessed she has asked me along for this emotional ride.

Early on, when we first started talking about this project, I did make her promise that if she was on Oprah when her book becomes a huge success, that she is required to take me with her. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that happens. Beth is an incredible woman, mom and wife.

I won't be sharing any personal details of her journal during this process. Until it is complete, I know this is a very private time for her. And though this isn't about me, I may have to share some of my experiences along the way, to keep my head clear and my thoughts focused.

Happy Birthday!

Today my husband turns 46. For the record, that is FIVE years older than me. (Ahhh, saying that never gets old! No pun intended.) It was more fun when he was in his 40's and I was still in my 30's. I'll have to wait until he turns 50 until I can pull out the old "different decade" jokes!

He's a young 46. He doesn't need much sleep, he stays up late playing poker with his buddies or watching old movies and then hauls his ass out of bed, without an alarm clock, and gets into work by about 7:30AM. He still plays Ultimate Frisbee and disc golf, both of which he is thrilled to have introduced to Big E, who will be playing his first adult Ultimate Frisbee tournament in February. He is slowing down a bit, though. Recently he was in a boot to combat some nasty achilles tendinitis (see comments about playing Ultimate Frisbee). He's out of the boot, but now in physical therapy for it. He takes the kids camping and even took them to Canada for a summer vacation (I stayed home, it was trip that was a little too rustic for me!). This past weekend he tore his motorcycle apart and is rebuilding it so it is ready to go this spring. He doesn't sit still very often.

He's an all around great guy and I am lucky! Happy birthday, Motorcycle Guy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

I met you when I was just a teenager. Sixteen to be exact. I looked forward to seeing you on a regular basis. You stayed with me for most of my high school and college years. After college, we were together most of the time, but I did have some difficulties in 1991 and your presence with me was a little unreliable. 1992 came around and you magically reappeared without fail. You were with me consistently and I could rely on you to see me through. You got bigger and better as time went on and I was a happy, happy young woman.

I went on to get married and you stuck with me and my husband and eventually our first child. You continued to grow and provide. You were appreciated and never taken for granted. I was thankful. Then, in 1998, I walked away. Just like that. It was a hard decision. I loved having you and I loved the work it took to keep you with me. I turned my back, though, said goodbye to you and some of the freedom you provided and I walked away. I needed to focus on other things and you were distracting me. I didn't know how long we would be separated. My plan did not go that far into the future. Your absence left a rather large hole in our life. My family sacrificed and made changes so that we could live without you. And we did it. We did it well. While life without you was an adjustment, the benefits we received were, and are to this day, worth every bit of sacrifice, worry, discomfort and change. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't change a thing. I would say goodbye again in a heartbeat.

We were estranged for ten years. TEN YEARS! During that time, things were crazy - two more kids were added to our family, we had two relocations and I had two brain surgeries. We were probably better off without you during those times because the additional stress of having you in my life would have broken me. It would have been a lot of work to keep you during those times. In 2008, I invited you to rejoin us and you accepted my invitation. I don't have to work as hard for your attention as I once did and I don't have to work as long. Though you are much smaller now and have a lot less impact on our household than when you were a part of my earlier life, I am thankful just the same. I enjoy having you around and look forward to each time we are together. You are my paycheck and I am glad you are back.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'll believe it when I see it...

So far, every flippin' snow storm that has come our way has managed to go north or south of us. In some cases, it went BOTH north AND south, leaving us with nothing but cold, grey skies. It sucks. Now, they are calling for a Winter Storm Watch through Wednesday for my county and a Winter Storm Warning for counties south of the city (which is also south of the Ohio River). I am not holding my breath. The last time these meteorlogical flunkees gave us a Winter Storm Advisory, the wind "shifted" and it rained and stayed at about 33 degrees. Cold, grey, wet. That is the pits and DAMMIT, I want a snow storm and a snow day or two.

Today, CJ is supposed to take something that begins with the letter "P" to school. He immediately says to me: "I know what I can take. My PENIS. It begins with 'p' ."

I explained to him that his penis goes everywhere with him and that it really shouldn't be a part of show and tell. He said he wouldn't pull it out to show anyone, but he would tell them it was there. We are still searching for a substitute for the penis, but I am afraid he may still shout this out today during class.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Maybe I don't need help after all...

I saw this over at Wheezer's Cheeze and thought I should take the test myself. The score is lower than I thought. This can only mean one of two things: 1. I am not as addicted as I thought and I will not be seeking help or 2. since some of the questions required and estimation on my part, I am thinking maybe like all survey responders, I undersestimated because I am in DENIAL about my blogging addiction. I think #2. is more likely.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank you for showing me my soul.

I was raised in an extended family of racists/bigots or whatever other word you would like to use. I just call them closed-minded haters. I remember thinking as a kid some of the things I heard them say just didn't seem right. As I grew older and went off to college, I came into my own thinking and KNEW the things I heard as a child WERE NOT RIGHT. And though I KNEW it, I often wondered, do I really believe they are wrong or am I rebelling against my ignorant family who I don't want to be like? I felt confident my opinions were my own and I KNEW their beliefs and attitudes were wrong.

As my husband and I started having children, we agreed that if we were ever around my family, or anywhere else, where people started using racial slurs or other hurtful, judemental comments regarding religion, gender orientation, ethnicity, etc. we would pack up our things and leave. And we would be sure to let the offender know we were leaving because of them. Again, was I just rebelling or really sticking to my beliefs?

I had a client come into the massage therapy clinic recently. I immediatlely liked her and I think the feeling was mutual. We hit it off right away. She told me first thing that she is expecting her second child, which requires some modifications to the massage on my part. As I told her to "disrobe to your comfort level" it was only then I realized she was wearing a hijab - a head covering, for her, just covering her hair. I truly had not noticed. If I did, it hit so low on my "thought" radar that it went, well, unnoticed. It triggered no thoughts, no nothing.

We had a delightful conversation during the massage. She really wanted to talk and so did I. She asked me about how I felt about the new president. She told me about her family here in the US, where she was raised (in Ohio) and about her extended family in Syria. She told me about her husband (also from Ohio) and their son and their baby they are expecting. We talked about how when she goes to Syria her family wants to know if Americans are treating her OK. She said she loves it here and she tells her family being American is wonderful and most of the people are truly accepting of everyone. That what THEY see on the news is not exactly the way it is. And that what we see on the news in regards to Islam is not the true Islam, not the one she knows and loves. We also talked about what I have said in this blog many times over. We are more alike than we are different. And through education and understanding of others, we would see those commonalities and I believe many of the walls would go down and the fears would dissipate.

We talked about the fact that she is aware that people automatically view her and her husband as terrorists, or at least potential terrorists and that scares her. During this part of the conversation, I shared with her something I told a family member of mine recently. That was: "assuming Muslims are terrorists is like assuming Christians are KKK members . Terrorism and white supremecy is a distorted and twisted view of using religion as a weapon and shield for hate. That true God loving people do not subscribe to these distortions and I find these distortions to be highly offensive - to Christians and to Muslims." She opened her eyes, tilted her head back to look at me and smiled. She then said, "Thank you, Jo, for saying that. I am going to remember that in the future."

Thank you, RB, for showing me my soul. For showing me the core of my being. For confirming what I already knew. My family was and is SO WRONG in their beliefs. And I have always KNOWN that.

Friday Fragments


Have lots of little thoughts going on in your head and don't know what to do with them. Join Mrs. 4444's Friday Fragments.

Now, on with the show!

I was looking at my Google Analytics information and noticed someone from Climax checked into my blog one day. CLIMAX! Can you imagine living in CLIMAX? How do you get anything done? That must be a very happy place to live. I googled it, with some hesitation, because I had trouble locating it amongst all the bubbles on my Analytics map. I figured all kinds of creepy websites would be located. Did you know there are several states with a town called Climax? Colorado and Minnesota are two of them. I was able to figure out this particular blogger was from Wisconsin. Wow, maybe she/he can let us know what living in Climax is like? Or maybe the reader is pretty tired of the jokes and just doesn't want to discuss it any more.

Recently, I wrote about a bad experience I had at Moe's Southwest Grille. I submitted a complaint via e-mail and figured I would never hear from them. On Wednesday, I received a letter explaining my Moe's location is a franchise and they would follow up to make sure they were following the policies of Moe's. Of course, they never did say whether or not I could have used or could in the future use my coupon when ordering a kid's meal with my adult meal. They did, however, send me a $5.00 gift card.

When naming your blog, be careful what your initials are. Mine are UTI and when people refer to me/my blog with these initials , all I can think about is a urinary tract infection.

After all that excitement about learning how to use a strikethrough, I haven't used it once since. I am going to have to work on that.

A friend from long ago is now blogging. I've known her since my oldest was a bambino. She moved away, I moved away and we lost touch until she found my blog several months back. Check her out: Please Hesitate to Ask...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a small world.

We have a nephew who graduated from the University of Michigan last spring. He hung around Ann Arbor for a while and then decided to spread his wings and take off for LA. His degree is Computer Animation or something similar to that. So off he went. No job, no housing, a little money ... well you get the picture. He sent us his address recently and I kid you not when I say he moved not just to Redondo Beach, but about six blocks a way from a very dear friend of mine and her hubby and kids, who obviously live in Redondo Beach, too. Her name is Lora, not be confused with Lora from Guam. I have known her since late elementary school and we have been friends ever since. She is a loyal reader of this blog. Her and her husband also own Glacier Ice Cream and Gelato in Manhattan Beach, so if you are in the area, stop in for a cool treat!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Um, that's not the lotion you are smelling.

I had a client come in for a two hour massage. TWO HOURS. That is killer on a therapist, just so you all know. We do not look forward to two hour clients.

Anyway, I was starting the client on his back and starting the massage at the head/neck/shoulders. The guy was talking a little, which of course, requires me to respond to his discussion/questions. Since I was starting on his face and scalp, I didn't use any massage gel right away. One of the first things he says is, "I really like the smell of that lotion. It smells like orange blossoms." All I can think is, "Huh? I haven't even used anything yet and our lotion is scent free." (We are a scent free clinic - lotions, gels and creams are unscented, no scented candles, incense, etc. due to many clients having allergies and sensitivities to scented items, especially if they come in contact with the skin.)

Then I realized what it was and I had to do everything I could to contain my laughter. Yes, I was actually able to contain myself. Do you know what it was? I'll give you a second to think about it.

Waiting....waiting...



About 15 minutes before going into the massage I ate two of these. If the picture is not obvious, they are Orange Slices. That little slice of jellied orange heaven covered in coarse sugar. Yep, I guess whenever I talked, the smell of orange blossoms wafted from my mouth. And he thought it was the lotion. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't really say, "Oh, that's not the lotion, that's my breath!" So instead I said, "Oh, it's probably the soap I used to wash my hands." Which of course, it wasn't, because as I mentioned, we are a scent free clinic.

I was so paranoid to talk to him. I was afraid every time I spoke I would radiate orange blossoms and he would put two and two together and realize it was my breath. I was happy when the massage required me to move to his lower extremities and eventually his back.

What would you have done? How would you have responded if your massage therapist told you it was their breath that was that heavenly smell?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: My Three Sons

This is my second time participating in Tuesday's Tribute. Don't worry, at some point I will stop counting how often I participate. Check out Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks & Pizza to participate or check out other tributes.

This week, again, I am doing a "nice" tribute. One of these days, though, I will do one of my not so awesome smackdowns as a tribute!

Go ahead, start tapping your toes and whistling, at least those of you who are old enough to remember the show My Three Sons. Today's tribute goes to my three boys.

Big E - Is there a commune somewhere that he can move to? I have never seen a child who has to be surrounded by friends, people, anyone with a pulse, as much as he does. He really needs to live somewhere where he can just wander in and out of a variety of homes, always finding a friend to talk to or play with. I am fairly sure if I told him the entire sixth grade class, all 850 of them, could come to live with us, he would self implode with excitement. He always wants to know what's next so he can decide who to invite to join us/him for whatever the "next" is.

He is the pickiest eater I know. His menu consists of any form of breaded chicken, fries, applesauce, grapes, blueberries, pears and milk. Oh, and anything chocolate.

He is a good kid and has good friends. He gets good grades and his teachers say he is a nice kid to have in class. He loves sports and especially enjoys playing baseball and basketball.

Sous Chef - He is such a sweet kid. And so far, he is our smartest child. He has tested into gifted education and recently tested to receive gifted ed services through 8th grade. We discovered when he was very young that his intellectual abilities were going to lead him in this direction. The professionals who told us that were correct.

He loves video games. He loves to cook and often checks out cookbooks from the school library. He loves swimming and is working to pass the last two levels of swimming so he can be on the year round swimming team. In the summer it's nearly impossible to get him out of the pool.

He has a streak of "intolerance" that drives us up the wall. It usually involves someone looking at him for too long, humming a song or just generally being in the same room as he is. These irritations almost always involve the youngest brother. Read on.

CJ - He is a cuddler. He's five and will still come to me and say "can I sit on your lap?" He tells me everyday that I am pretty, that my hair is pretty, that he likes what I am wearing and that he loves me "1,009 miles". But oh, is he ornary. He often has that look of "I know exactly what I am doing is going to get me in trouble and I am going to do it anyway. While I watch you watch me." This usually involves tormenting Sous Chef.

Having two older brothers, he often seems to be an older five than his friends at preschool. I guess that comes from keeping up with the big guys and their friends. He's also permitted to do a lot of things at this age that the older two were not. They haven't noticed that yet, but I know there will come a day when they say "I wasn't allowed to do that at X age!" That's the bonus of being the youngest, I guess.

He loves to read and color. He is looking forward to kindergarten in the fall. He is a busy child who could probably join Big E on the commune and live happily ever after.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Day (almost)

I honestly am not sure if I have ever watched an inauguration. I guess since it takes place during the day, I was probably at work, school or tending to a child. I am definitely going to try to watch this year. And I will be thinking so many different things, mainly "Thank God the Bushes and the Clintons are out" and "Thank God we are starting a new page in history!"

I really am excited about this new administration. It feels good that FINALLY someone I voted for actually won! (Yes, Hilary is still lurking around, but hopefully she knows how to keep her pants on and her, and other's, mouth free of human body parts and won't embarrass this country like her hubby did.) And I know I will get a lot of shit over the next four to eight years from friends and family who think I am a flaming liberal and think I think Obama is GOD. Let me state it here, I don't think that. And I am far from a flaming liberal, but in my family, all you have to do is utter the word Democrat and you must be a flaming liberal. I know, no matter how much I support a president, he/she will make mistakes - and probably some HUGE ones that the press and critics will be able to run with and point out for the remainder of his term and into the next campaign. I know he will make decisions that I won't agree with. So be it. That's life. I hope they aren't decisions, right or wrong, that leave an everlasting negative print on our country, on the world or result in 1,000s of lives lost. I know he will renig on campaign promises. It's part of politics. A part I don't like very much. But I am ready for all of that to happen. I am always ready for that, no matter who is leading the country.

I hope the Obamas stays safe from the negativity and hate that exists in this country. In this world. Hate that exists not because he holds the position of president, but because he represents so many things, so many people, that many in our society still can't and won't accept.

So, I send a heartfelt "welcome", Mr. President. I am so looking forward to the next four years and maybe eight. Change is good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

An ode to my clients

For anyone new to my blog, I am a licensed massage therapist and have, briefly, written about my clients (no names, of course) in the past. Today is another one of those days. I have been picking up extra hours at work since I have had some extra time, I would like to help replenish the cash we spent on food for parties and guests and Christmas gifts in December, and the gift card recipients are filling our massage therapy clinic this month! This will be less than poetic, but I wanted to share my thoughts about my clients.
  1. I love that you think I know all the answers. I studied under medical doctors, I participated in two cadaver studies, I worked with teenagers who were in a drug rehab facility and I am licensed by the Ohio Medical board. I think just the fact that I have an Ohio Medical Board license, the same board that gives doctor's the right to practice in Ohio, gives me clout with my clients that I don't deserve. The truth is, I don't know why your joints hurt, I can't prescribe you meds for that lower back pain and I don't know how to perform surgery.
  2. I don't know the exact causes or cures for irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility, or obsessive compulsive behavior. I wish I did and I am flattered that you think I know the answers to these questions, and so many more, medical issues. I am not a diagnostician nor am I researcher who is trying to find the answers. I can give you suggestions and my opinions, but I will often just suggest you follow up with your doctor. I promise though, that if I see a mole that looks suspicious, I will let you know.
  3. I love that you think because I have "therapist" in my title, that I am a psychiatrist/psychologist/counselor and you share your stories, worries and concerns with me. I am sorry I don't have solutions to offer, but I will continue to listen as long as you continue to talk.
  4. I am entertained when you say things like "I want a deep tissue massage," "You can't use too much pressure on me," and "Work as deep as you can" and then you moan and squirm and I have to peel you off the ceiling because "that hurts." Deep tissue massage is not relaxing. It hurts. And you will probably feel bad the next day. And I appreciate your willingness to tough it out when it's necessary. And I apologize if I make you cry.
  5. I love having what we refer to as "massage virgins." These are the people who have NEVER had a massage before. They typically come in because someone gave them a gift certificate, but other times it's college kids coming in together or a regular brings in a loved one. They are the best. There is nothing for them to compare to. They either like it or they don't. I really loved it the time I had a college girl come in for her "first time." I gave her the usual speech, including "disrobe to your comfort level." I think I should have empahsised the fact that she would remain draped the entire time, because not only did she leave her bra on, which is no big deal but is not overly common, but she left on her pants and socks.
  6. There are those clients who leave their eyes open during the entire massage, or at least when they are on their back and I can see their eyes. It freaks me out. Do they not trust me? Aren't they able to relax? Do they sleep with your eyes open? What's the deal? Bleh.
  7. I had a client who came in with his wife. He was a massage virgin, too. He wanted only his feet massaged. For an hour. So that's what I did. I massaged his feet and managed to squeeze in a calf massage, too, for one hour. It was one of the easiest massages ever. I got to sit down the whole time and thankfully, he had good feet. No calluses, gack, toe jam or fuzz.

That is my ode to my clients. Some day, I will write funny stories from when I was a Human Resources Manager. NOW those are some crazy stories. I got the biggest kick out of interviewing people, because let me tell you, you hear some bizarre things during interviews. And then our employees. Holy crap, I kept pestering the president and CEO to send me to med school so I could be an MD with a specialty in psychiatry because I spent a lot of time counseling our staff! And there were several who needed medication, in my humble opinion! Thank goodness for a door to close and a window with blinds to close so people walking by couldn't see us in my office while the employee was having a meltdown.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mind the Gap

If you've been to London and used the Tube/London Underground to get around, you are familiar with the voice constantly saying "Mind the gap." You are also familiar with going up and down escalators with signs telling you to stay to the left so those in a hurry can pass on the right.

Well, I am convinced here in the US, we need some simple and obvious rules being repeated over the loudspeaker at the grocery store and maybe some postings inside the grocery cart as a constant reminder for proper grocery cart maneuvering. Here are some basic rules for all shoppers to follow:
  1. Keep moving once inside the door. Translation: do not get just inside the door to the warm (or cool if it's summertime) air and STOP to review your grocery list, take off your gloves and hat, check your makeup or pick your undies out of your ass. Keep moving and pull off to the right (we ARE in the US after all) so those of us who need to keep moving can pass on the left. If you stop in front of me in this totally inapropriate place I will probably run my cart into you. And I won't apologize. In fact, I'm more likely to say something like, "Idiot, keep moving or get your ass out of the way."
  2. When you are at the meat counter, do not park your cart right in front of the glass case so no one else can check out what is inside. Things will go a lot faster for all of us if you park your cart back some and walk your lazy ass sans cart to the counter to place your order. Yes, that requires you CARRYING your order all the way back to your cart, but get over it.
  3. Keep to the right in the aisles. Isn't it obvious? Do you drive your car on the left side of the road? Or in the middle? Let's hope not. The same rule applies to your cart. Even if what you need is on the left side of the aisle, stop your cart and cross over that great big space called an aisle to get your item(s). Again, I realize this requires the extra step of carrying your item all the way back to your cart, but get over it. You could probably use the exercise.
  4. Don't pull your cart into the busiest aisle in the store and decide this is the place to sort your coupons. Come on people, organize! And if you can't organize, get the fuck out of the way for the rest of us who ARE organized or are NOT using coupons.
  5. If you know nothing about technology, computers or electronic scanning, do not, absolutely DO NOT pull your cart into the self-checkout lane with more than one or two items and 20 people in line and take this as your opportunity to train yourself on the ways of the 21st century. Wait until you have one or two items and your toddler with you so he or she can provide you with the proper training.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments - the day I can try to organize all my wacky thoughts into one chaotic post. Check out Mrs. 444's website to check out other chaotic bloggers.

  • I bought that new mascara, Double Extension Beauty Tubes mascara. This was such new "technonolgy" for me - makeup that adds "tubes" to your lashes and extends them beyond their normal length? Are you sure? Well, I am a sucker for trying almost anything once, so off to Target I went and made the purchase. The results? I LOVE this stuff. It does lengthen, it doesn't smudge or flake and it's not thick or cakey like some mascaras. It's awesome! It does take A LOT of water to get the mascara off and I honestly thought I was losing a huge amount of lashes. I was afraid if I looked too closely, I would see my eyelids would be bald. As it turns out, it was just the "tubes" coming off and resting on my face and washcloth.
  • I love Facebook. I don't do all the "extras" that it allows, but it is fun to be in touch with people on a more regular basis. I have several friends from HS and a couple of college roommates that I am "friends" with. I like seeing their pictures and what they are up to. I don't have 1,000's of friends like some FBers do and I have actually turned down a request or two from people requesting my friendship. Yep, just more proof that I can be a bitch.
  • I lost a follower this week. I hope it wasn't the Lords of Acid song that scared them off. I picked that song because my BFF and I loved dancing to it at our favorite club "back in the day."
  • I think I should have been a meteorologist in my city, but first I would have had to flunk out of meterology school to hold that position here. I would have LOVED it if in my previous HR Mgr. job when I forecasted my staffing needs and hiring numbers, budgets for benefits and other department expenses, goals for the staff and other strategic planning that if I missed my mark I could have just said, "well, the wind shifted so..." In this case, according the weather man, we were under a winter weather advisory this week and expecting snow and ice during early morning and rush hour. Needless, to say, the "wind shifted" and all it did was rain.
  • I keep in very close contact with a group of friends from when we lived in the Kansas City area. We have our own Yahoo group and we even have a "name" for us, although my husband just refers to us as the Ladies Binge Drinking Group. I know the whole thing sounds corny, but we have so much fun and are such a support system for one another! Anyway, one of them recently commented she was waiting for "back fat" to be cute. I think we are all waiting for that. And I am sticking with my response to her that in this economy, back fat is a necessity. When all the skinny bitches are starving, we'll be feeding off of our reserves!
  • I'm amazed the plane crash on Thursday was as "minor" as it was. One of my greatest fears is crashing into the water by plane or car (or I guess by boat, but that seems less traumatic since you are ALREADY IN THE WATER!). And worse would be having my kids in the plane or car with me. My hands sweat just thinking about it. Whenever I have had to fly over the ocean, I have totally fretted that the plane would go down and I would be the only survivor, left as food for the sharks and other large fish. I am relieved to see that a water crash, at least by plane, was actually the best case scenario and maybe it would actually work out for the best.
  • Every time I open a jar of pickles or a bottle of Mott's Apple Juice I say, "how do old people get these things open?" And I am serious. What do the elderly due when they are thirsty for Mott's or craving that pickle? I think my hands are pretty strong, being a massage therapist and all, and I can't budge these lids. I don't have arthritis, either, so that's not an excuse. I do admit my upper body strength (pectorals, back muscles) are pretty pathetically weak, but still. Thank goodness I have that lovely Pampered Chef gadget that opens bottles/jar lids like a pro.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Honest Scrap

Thanks to Adlibby on the Loose for this Honest Scrap Award. For this award, I must list ten things about myself and then pass on the award to seven other bloggers. I think all the bloggers I read have received this award, but I will see what I can do.

Ten (honest) things about myself:
  1. When I can't find a clean pair of socks, I wear a pair of my husband's dress socks. (That means whenever I buy him socks, because he doesn't shop, I make sure I like them in case I end up having to wear them.)
  2. I dread going places that are full of other people's children - school carnivals, birthday parties, Chuck E. Cheese.
  3. I rarely volunteer for anything that involves planning games/crafts/activities for a large group of kids because I hate it and I suck at it. I can also refer back to #3 on this one.
  4. In place of doing #3, I try to volunteer to bring food/drinks and to read to the kids.
  5. In college, when my boyfriend of 3+ years and I broke up, the chick who became his new girlfriend later confessed to me she was terrified of me and was afraid I was going to hurt her. (We did eventually become very friendly and that boyfriend and I, once we/I recovered from the ugliness of a breakup, are still friends. He and his family came to MG and I's wedding and we are Facebook buddies!)
  6. When I worked as a Human Resources Manager, I loved having the power to fire people.
  7. In relation to #6, I hated having to fire people who were trying really hard to be successful but were just not cutting it.
  8. I used to drink WAY too much WAY too often. Now I drink WAY too much only on occasion. The rest of the time I enjoy my meds. No, I don't over do it, I have never faked an illness or injury to get drugs, I don't use illegal drugs and I am not an addict. Having an ongoing prescription of muscle relaxers is a wonderful thing! (I guess nothing in this honest piece of scrap is a surprise to those who are near and dear to me and/or have been reading this blog for very long.)
  9. I have a fear of leaving my doors unlocked when I am in the house. My husband thinks I am paranoid. I think I am being safe, especially when home alone. It pisses him off though, when he is outside working and I go by and lock the door, resulting in him being locked out. I don't know what the problem is, there's a fridge in the garage full of beer. What else could he need?
  10. Sometimes I leave the water running. I don't do it often or for a long period of time, but sometimes I will have the water running and I need to go to the fridge real quick for something or I need to go to the stove to stir something. Well, it's easier just to leave the water on, after all, I am coming right back. That bugs my husband and he will walk over and turn it off, which in turn requires me to do the extra "move" of turning it right back on. However, it bugs me that he doesn't mind that when he turns off the faucet that he often doesn't turn it off enough to make sure it's not dripping. DRIP, DRIP, DRIP - that noise can drive a sane person CRAZY!

So there you have it. And now, I nominate the following for the honest blog award:

La Mom - her blog is so honest about her life in Paris, that she is totally anonyme! (Wow, I hope I got that right in French! How did I do, La Mom?)

Georgie at Decisionally Challenged - she leaves a confession each day! And for those who need to confess a thing or two, she opens her confessional once a month!

Mary Ellen at Adopting M.E. - she has been openly sharing her story of being adopted and now searching, and recently finding, her birth mother. She can also give you the honest poop about As Seen on TV gadgets. Anyone interested in the Sham Wow needs to go here.

Ok, so that's not seven, but this will have to do!

It's necessary for me to be a host.

This blog was inspired after I left a comment for a bloggy friend regarding housekeeping. The one sure fire way to make sure I clean my house is by hosting different things here. Last night it was book club. I would NOT want to have my book club buddies over to a messy house and crappy food, therefore, I am forced to clean and prepare a couple of yummy items as a form of self preservation. And it works. at least for me. For the first time since having a houseful of family at the holidays, my house is clean. And by clean, I don't mean spotless. Don't look too closely in some of the corners or at the baseboards. Hopefully, no one noticed that one banister still has the holiday greenery on it. I'm getting to it. I swear. By clean, I mean I vacuumed, I dusted, I decluttered and wiped down the countertops and kitchen table. The kitchen floors have been mopped, at least enough to get off the surface dirt and spots. I folded up all the blankets we use while laying around and reading and watching tv. I did scrub the bathroom because, well, I have four males with pathetic aim living in this house and bathroom cleaning is a must. I then cleaned everything up after the book clubbers left so when I woke up this morning, my house was still clean. I LOVE that. It makes me want to dance all around the house and enjoy the cleanliness, because Lord knows, it may only last a few more minutes!

This weekend we are having a football playoffs party. Not much cleaning will be required since it's already taken care of. Bonus - two events in one week!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Man Laundry


I am new to this Tuesday Tribute thing and I hope I do it justice. It is the brain child of Jay at Halftime Lessons and Deb at Dirty Socks & Pizza. You should go visit them. Basically, what the Tuesday's Tribute involves is shining the light on someone else for the day instead of talking about yourself. I'm really good at talking about others, especially if it involves a smackdown. In this case, there is no smackdown, so that presents its own challenge. It does involve my husband though and just a LITTLE bit of wondering about how that brain of his works. So on with the show:

My husband is a huge help around the house. He lived on his own long enough (he was 31 when we got married) and bought a house right out of college so that he is well versed in housekeeping and he really doesn't mind helping around here. Sometimes I need to "guide" him, but I can handle that.


Lee at MWOB recently wrote about her husband and coupons. That blog entry had me chuckling because I experience the same thing with my husband. And then this weekend, the laundry reiterated some of the same types of issues as husbands and coupons. Laundry for my husband? Not a problem. Special laundry? That's a whole other issue. Often, when he grabs all the dirty laundry on the weekend and goes to the laundry room to get started, he will inevitably come across something of mine that throws him off - a sweater or two, some undergarments, etc. Instead of asking if/how to wash these, he just tosses them onto the laundry room counter top. Or worse yet, he washes them like he washes everything else without asking for any special instructions. Yesterday, I was heading out with some girlfriends and had laundry in the washer and dryer and more to do. I let him know IF he was going to finish up the laundry and I was NOT asking him to actually do that, I needed the item in the washer that was in the "laundry net" to be dried flat and not in the dryer and that the items ON the washer needed to go into the laundry net and put in the washer with their appropriate color. When I first mentioned "if he was going to finish up the laundry" he interrupted me with "Of course I'll finish it. I know that will help you out quite a bit." By the time I got through my explanation of the "special laundry" he said, "Well, maybe I'll just let you take care of it when you get home." What is it that men cannot be responsible for washing the special garments. I know he would tell you he would be moritified that he would ruin one of my cashmere sweaters or my beloved red bra, but really, I gave him very detailed instructions. What could go wrong?

Delurker Monday

Hey, I just found out that today is Delurker Day. That means if you are out there reading my blog, especially on a regular basis, but I don't know about you (ie. you are not a listed follower or you don't leave me comments), show yourself. Ahem, I mean, leave me a comment and let me know you are there! I'd love to meet you.

Cuckoo for cocoa puffs

Here I wrote about smelling like a Yankee Candle, thanks to the deodorant my hubby brought home from his employer. We get a lot of freebies, most of which I love, but occasionally we get some that I am convinced they are passing off to the employees because they miserably failed whatever test market they tried the product in. So that deodorant was Vanilla Chai, which as I said in my earlier post, sounded more like a fru-fru coffee drink and left me smelling like a candle.

So my flavor of (free) deodorant choice now is Kuku Cocoa Butter. Yep, now I smell like the beach, which may not be so bad and has me dreaming about spring break. And every time I see the label, I think of that ridiculous commercial with that rooster, or whatever kind of animal it was, screaming "I go cuckoo for cocoa puffs!" Remember that cereal commercial? Well, if you see me strutting around town squawking and clucking "I go cuckoo for kuku cocoa butter!" you know I have really and truly officially lost my mind. (Just in case you think I haven't done that already.) It will definitely be time to have me committed for that inpatient "rest" I am often in need of.

Altered English Word for the Day:

Feather: The rising of cream on the surface of a cup of tea or coffee. (M. Schele De Vere, Americanisms: The English of the New World, New York, 1872)

Used in a sentence: Roberta rather liked it when her coffee was served with a feather. (I wonder how she would like it served with deodorant, say vanilla chai or kuku cocoa butter?)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I headed out with friends today to see this movie. If you haven't seen it yet, it is a must see. I am interested to see how it does in the Golden Globes and Oscars.

Oh, and that takes me up to TWO movies seen in 2009. That's equivalent to the total number seen in 2007 and at this rate, I will certainly exceed my 2008 award winning number of three movies. At what point will I stop counting? I guess when it's no longer a big deal that I went to a movie!

Transcending: Words on Women and Strength

Here is Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place, reading her piece, Words on Women and Strength. (You'll need to turn off the music in the right hand side bar.)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Strikethroughs

I would have never guessed so many people had strikethrough issues. I guess it's true, whatever your problem is, you are never alone. There are always others struggling with the same issues. Maybe I should share some other issues I have and see what comes out of the blog world and into my comment box. How does your colon function? Anxiety issues? SAD (self-diagnosed) and adult ADD (self diagnosed)? What about those "issues"? Anyone?

So, in case you were wondering about those strikethroughs and didn't get the opportunity, for whatever reason, to read through the comments section from today (and I will assume you REALLY WANTED to read through them but for some reason, just didn't have the time to get to it), here is the coveted strikethrough secret: <> with the letter s in between the brackets, type your word (not in the brackets) and then type <> with /s in between the brackets. I will try to do it here but will add some spaces so you can see what it sort of looks like <> strikethrough < /s> . (In this example, I can't get the "s" into the first set of brackets without it messing up, but you should type it there.) So don't put the spaces in where I did and you will end up with this. Good luck!

Friday Fragments

Here are my Friday Fragments. Fluffless, blunt and to the point - some days I can find my fluff and other days I can't. Check out Mrs. 444's website to find other bloggers who probably have much more creative and interesting Friday Fragments.

  • My new site is officially up and running and the old one is deleted. Thanks to those of you who followed me here and welcome to you newcomers! I hope you enjoy your visits here. I enjoy the company.
  • This week, I learned how to type with a strikethrough. Yea, it's been a productive week. Thanks, Ali and Catherine! I'll try not to overdo it go crazy use it too much too often. Oh hell, I'll try not to to abuse the strikethrough power!
  • My post on Tuesday got some informative and passionate comments. Check it out here. Thanks for everyone's input. I will continue to hope that people in this world can learn to get along. It doesn't mean we have to agree with everyone on everything or even that we have to LIKE everyone, but I think coexisting peacefully should be a goal for us all. I think I will be ordering this t-shirt and a bumper sticker. Not sure where I will put the bumper sticker as it has always been my practice to AVOID bumper stickers on my vehicle, but I might make an exception for this COEXIST message.
  • Move over Botox, there's a new paralyzer in town. There is a new product coming onto the market in the next few months that will be a direct competitor with Botox. It's less expensive and works quicker! I personally was thrilled to hear this. I'm not afraid to admit I have dabbled in the injection world in the not too distant past but had a hard time justifying the expense of my vanity. Buuut, if the price is going to be more reasonable, I may be back in that chair quicker than you can say "Inject me doc! And FAST!" Read about it here.
  • Holy leg lunge, Batman! On Sunday, I tried some things on the Wii Fit program I got for Christmas. I really like the Yoga and my body loves the stretching and breathing exercises Yoga offers. The stuff I was doing suggested I pair this one Yoga move with a strength training move. So I did. And in doing this strengthening move, you have to maintain a specific pressure/balance on the balance board, that's how you know if you are doing the maneuver correctly and getting the full benefits. Well, the lunge was a traditional leg lunge, which apparently I have been doing wrong my entire life based on my inabilities on this day. I was straining and sweating trying to keep my balance mark in the right place thinking "shit, there is no way I am going to be able to do this." Then I realized, I WASN'T doing it. I was staying in one place, the starting point, and wasn't even into the lunge yet! Yowzah! Once I actually started doing the lunges and then finished, I was pretty sure my wobbly, rubbery legs were not going to get me back up the stairs. I really need to work on this and strengthen this pathetic body of mine. Does Botox work for that? A five minute injection sounds so much easier!
  • I made delicious ham and bean soup this week. It was perfect for the 20 degree weather we are having. A friend had a ham bone left from their Honeybaked Ham and I have some good drugs that she wanted for a sore back. We made a trade and everyone is happy.
  • After the shock of finding out my in-laws have been reading my blog, unbeknownst to me, for the past year, I went ahead and shared this new site with my sis-in-law with a plea that she NOT share it, or any information within, with my MIL. Siblings, ok, parental units, not ok. At least my SIL knows what she is potentially getting into when she reads.
  • Earlier this week, CJ and I went to Moe's Southwest Grill for lunch. I was armed with a coupon for buy one entree, get one free. So I ordered a burrito for me and a kids quesadilla for him. When I tried to use my coupon, they wouldn't let me and said it was for two adult entrees, which it does not say on the coupon. I looked at the guy and said "This does not seem like good business sense to me. You are willing to give me a free $8.00 entree, but not a free $3.75 entree because it's a kid's entree?" Apparently, I was clear in my understanding of what he was telling me, because they still would not let me use the coupon. I was so irritated I came home and sent an e-mail to the corporate office. I have yet to hear anything back. I wish now I would have thought to cancel the order and re-order my burrito and an adult quesadilla, which I would have then received for free with my coupon. Next time I know to do that. With ridiculous business decisions like this one, it's no wonder companies are going out of business right and left and/or need a government bailout.
  • I think my recession denial is working. It seems that things might be getting a little better. Or is that just more denial?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feelin' Funky

I wish I was singing Feelin' Groovy, by Simon and Garfunkel, instead. Go ahead, sing the words. If you want to listen/watch the video, you will need to pause the other music.


Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' Groovy.

Hello lamp-post,
What cha knowin'?
I've come to watch your flowers growin'.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo, Feelin' groovy.

I've got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is groovy.

But I can't. I'm feelin funky. It is taking me a little longer to get back into the swing of the week after winter break than I had hoped. I'm in a bit of a fog and I am eager to get my old self back. I feel better today, so each day does seem to be easier. Hopefully after the weekend and playing catch up, I'll be back to my old self next week.

And Simon and Garfunkel? LOVE them. I grew up with my mom listening to them. Whenver I couldn't sleep, she would play their albums for me. It totally pissed off my brother, because we had one of those 1960's/1970's console stereos. You might remember them - it was a record player and a radio tucked inside of a cabinet with a lid that opened from the top like a toy box. The front of the console was the speakers. It was in our living room. Which meant the entire house had to listen to the music. I don't know why my brother didn't close his bedroom door. Maybe he did and he said he could still hear the music. Too bad for him, she played it anyway. My entire life I have slept better with the radio or TV on. Up until I got married, I slept with the radio on every night. Now, thanks to a snoring husband, I find myself on the couch many nights and what do I do? Sleep with the television on.

The other album I remember her playing for me all the time? Carol King - Tapestry. I now have the CD and my kids love it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Yummy Brunch

I love to make the following items for brunch. And since I have nothing else to blog about except my funky mood, I thought I would share these yummy recipes with you.

I made this over the holidays for family who were in town and it was a big hit. Enjoy!

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the quiche or salad, but I do have a picture of the coffee cake.

SPINACH AND BACON QUICHE
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie plate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges. (Sometimes I end up having to cut the quiche in 1/2 and cook an additional ten minutes just to make sure the egg is cooked through.)

PECAN PEAR SOUR CREAM CAKE
1 ½ cup pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 med pears, peeled cored and thinly sliced.
2 tsp lemon juice
1 ¾ c flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 8 oz carton sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Grease spring form pan. For nut mixture combine pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. For topping cut the ¼ cup butter into 1/3 cup flour to make course crumbs. Stir in ¾ cup of the nut mixture into the topping. Set the remaining nut mixture aside. Toss pear slices in lemon juice and set aside. In medium bowl combine, 1 ¾ cup flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set this flour mixture aside. In a large bowl beat ½ cup butter with electric mixer. Beat in granulated sugar and vanilla. Add eggs beating well. Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternating into batter. Spread 2/3 batter into pre-pared pan. Sprinkle with reserved nut mixture. Layer pears over top. Gently spread remaining batter over pears. Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake 50 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Can be serve with whipped cream. Serves 12.

CREAMY FRUIT SALAD
1 can pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin oranges
1 can sliced peaches
4 chopped green apples
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1 small packet vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 cup sour cream

Drain canned fruit and combine with chopped apples. Combine the milk, oj, and pudding until well mixed. Fold in the sour cream and pour over the fruit. Gently stir and serve chilled.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In the news

It's been a while since I have gone off on current events. Mainly because I haven't watched the news for the last month. The last couple of days I have been bombarded with news. I'm not sure why, I guess I have been too lazy to change the channel. That and I was actually up this morning when the Today Show came on, which is my main source of news and frivolous other information.

So here we go:

Jett Travolta - what a tragedy. I personally can't even imagine, can't even wrap my brain around what this family is going through. And you know what? Having the news report every little detail of what happened, what the parents' last words to their son were, who rode in the ambulance, who said what in the ambulance, where Ella Blue was and more will not change the fact that I cannot even imagine what this family is going through. For God's sake, can't the news have a little respect? What kind of a question is "How is John doing?" A stupid one, I do know that. How do those idiot reporters think he and his wife are doing? Do they think we, the television audience are too stupid to figure out they couldn't be more miserable, and therefore they better ask so that we are all aware of this misery? No words can convey their pain and really, it's none of our business. Let them be. Let them mourn in peace and quiet, without the news cameras and reporters analyzing their every move.

The Obama girls go to school - woo hoo! While I think these two little girls are adorable, I don't really need to see their first day at their new school. And neither does anyone else except for maybe their family. Since watching someone else's children, whom you do not know and have no personal relationship with, go off to their first day at school is about as exciting as I don't even know what, I can only assume the news media was waiting for some horrific tragedy to happen that they wouldn't want to be scooped on. Since, thankfully, there wasn't, they decided to drone on about how many cars were in the motorcade, what they wore, who walked them into the building and on and on and on. Get a grip. It's not that exciting.

Roland Burris - what a ding dong. He may be a really intelligent, experienced and best guy for the job Senator, I honestly don't know. But guess what, you fool, you can't be given an appointment by a guy who has been indicted by the judicial system and expect it to work out in your favor. You should have said "No" and hoped someone with some credibility gave you the nod for the appointment. I have only heard good things about you, that it wasn't that the Senate thinks you're a bad appointment, but that they will approve no one appointed by Blagojevich (I had to look up that spelling!). Didn't you see that one coming? I did and I am not even a politician (and thanks to this blog and several other discrepancies, never will be). Stay home and don't try to share that seat with a properly appointed official. You're probably going to find your ass on the ground.

Gaza/Israel - I am not even close to understanding this mess. I don't want to be. It weighs too heavily on me and is one of the many reasons I lay awake at night worrying and have resulted to medication to alleviate my anxieties. I know the Palestines want something and the Israelis want something. This something has to do with borders, control of who can go where, attacks to stop. I also know their differences go back to the beginning of time and appear to stem from religious differences, as well as other issues. And I do know this - I just want to scream "STOP IT!" Really. Is it that hard to get along with others? We are all different but we are all so much alike. Peace, family, love, and the necessities of life. Everyone wants that. And I don't think fighting to the death is a way to get these things. I realize the glitch lies in the area that some people define those things differently and want to take it away from others and abuse the system. But come on! Take it somewhere else. I think when government leaders can't get along, there should be an off-site location they can go to duke it out - boxing, kick fighting, whatever, but stop dragging civilians, especially children, into your blood shed.

I clearly could not be a journalist. I don't think anyone would hire me to tell viewers to change the channel and mind their own business and I certainly don't think those in charge, or those who think they should be in charge, want to hear my simple, common sense (or at least in my mind they are!) solutions to the problems they aren't able to fix.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A pulse and facial hair

Did anyone watch Desperate Housewives last night? I actually laughed out loud. I don't often do this while watching TV. I smirk, I smile, I might even utter a "ha!" when something is funny, but it's rare for me to bust out laughing. Last night on DH, it happened. Susan went out with Lee (who's gay in case you don't watch the show) and they got drunk and woke up together in Susan's bed. Susan thought they had done the nasty. Then Bob, Lee's boyfriend, visited Susan to make sure Lee had really slept at Susan's and not gone home with some guy from the gay bar. Then Bob made the comment about Lee getting drunk and "banging anything with a pulse and facial hair." The comment was really funny, but it was just as funny that Gabby was in the background and she was cracking up because Susan had just told her she had slept with "a friend". In the end, Susan confronted Lee who was rather shocked that Susan thought he would actually sleep with a woman and no, they definitely did nothing but share a bed. Anyway, I am still chuckling at that scene.

I guess my mom has recovered from her hissy fit. We had dinner at my brother's yesterday for my nephew's 14th birthday. She seemed fine. Until the next fit at least. I know there will be a next one (and one after that, and one after that...) because I am not one to cater to her bossiness.

The kids are back to school, CJ and I have been on the couch vegging all morning and now I need to take a shower. It is almost 11:00 and he has to be to school at 12:30. I may come back home and get right back on the couch. It only took us about two days to get into sleeping in mode and now it will take me a good two weeks to retrain my body for the 7:00am wakeups. Yuck. I'm ready for summer, but for now I'll just focus on Spring Break.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Making lemonade out of lemons...

Thanks, Julia at Sometimes Lucid!

Now, for the rules. First, you should give link love to the person who gave you the award. Secondly, nominate ten of your favorite bloggers to receive the Lemonade Award! I am going to break the rules a little and only list five bloggers. In no particular order, my nominees are:

Catherine at Evolving Mommy
Steph at My Life in Suburbia
Mary Ellen at Adopting M.E.
Sassy Britches at Well, Okay Sassy Britches!
Vodka Mom at I Need a Martini Mom

Off to a good start

As I mentioned in Friday Fragments, I saw four movies at the theater in 2008. So far in 2009? I've seen one movie! At this rate, I will break my 2008 record. My hubby and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was very good. Long, but good. And I am just sure Brad Pitt is the most beautiful creature to have ever walked the face of this earth. I'm pretty sure if MG had had a tissue or hanky, he would have handed it to me to soak up all the drool.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Another good read...

I just finished reading Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan. It is a historical novel about Frank Lloyd Wright and his relationship with Mamah Borthwick Cheney while they were both married to others. I love historical fiction (and really hated history in high school and college!), but admit, I often have to look up information when reading to verify what parts of the book may not be exactly accurate. It appears most of this book is on target, though some characters have been added to the story that did not exist in "real life."

If you are looking for a good book, check out this one. It does drag just a little in the middle, but nothing that made me want to stop reading.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Fragments


My Friday Fragments for the week may be, well, fragmented. Check out Mrs. 444's website to find other bloggers doing Friday Fragments.
  • My New Year's Resolution remains the same as it has for the past few years - to try to keep my opinions to myself unless asked. I will never achieve this 100%, therefore, I roll it from year to year. I am better. I do find myself biting my tongue. But I also still find myself speaking before I think and my comments are out of my mouth before my brain can scream "STOP!" If you do ask me for my opinion, be prepared to hear it full force. I will try to buffer it some, but probably not much. Oh, and this blog is exempt from my New Year's Resolution. My resolution is also exempt from speaking out when someone is being hateful, hurtful, or degrading to others. I will not stand silently by while others are being mean.
  • I'm still out of sorts getting my old blog transferred to this new blog. Soon my old blog will be deleted and until then, I am going nuts not having it all wrapped up.
  • The after Christmas sales have been great! I have several new clothes to enjoy this winter.
  • I will be watching my blog stats closely for lurking family members.
  • I dread taking down the Christmas decorations. I hate that job and I hate the way the house looks so bare without all the greenery, lights and decorations. Hopefully my poinsettia plants will live through the end of the month, but that is probably wishful thinking.
  • In 2008, I saw FOUR movies at the theater: Juno, Caramel, Rachel Getting Married and Milk. They were each very good. I think that is a record since having kids. I usually have to catch them on cable or rent them.
  • When mentioning my husband's motorcycle, I forgot to tell how he went to Switzerland (yes, the country) to buy a tire. THAT'S how much he loves that bike.
  • I am not looking forward to my kids going back to school next week. Getting up at 7:00am is a pain in the ass.

Altered English Word of the Day

Tush - tooth (James Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, London, 1855)

Used in a sentence: My tush hurts, I better go see the proctologist, oops, I mean dentist.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve

It's 2009. Hard to believe. I remember as a child asking my mom "will I still be alive when the year 2000 gets here?" It seemed so "futuristic" in the 1970's. I hope everyone had a fun (and safe) time ringing in the new year. We went to a party at the house of good friends. Sara was my roommate through most of my college years. Though her now husband was not officially a college roommate, he did live across the street from us. Oh, I could tell stories. But I won't. For each story I could tell about Sara, she could tell two about me. I am sure there are more about her, but I just can't remember them because I was usually in an altered state of mind whenever she was acting up.

Compared to the stories I am reading online and the drunk dialers who called me from Kansas at midnight Eastern Standard Time, my evening was nothing compared to others. My drunk dialing friend didn't even make it to midnight Central Standard Time. I hear there are pictures. My recent hangover from our Holiday Party is too fresh in my mind and just the thought of vodka, or any other alcohol, makes me dry heave, so I drank iced tea all night. I can't shake a hangover like I used to.

Here are some photos from our party:

Lucy, MG and lots of firecrackers.

Ringing in 2009.

2009 enters with a bang!

Party kids.

Lucy and Sous Chef

Me and MG

Why a new site?

H A P P Y N E W Y E A R !

There has been some interest in why I moved my blog to a new address and am now using nicknames instead of our real first names. The answer is simple. When I started this blog over a year and a half ago, it was to keep track of my daily happenings. Since we had relocated 600 miles away from very good friends, I found myself e-mailing them with what was going on, answering their questions about how we were doing and so on. So I started a blog so they could check in if and when they wanted to.

Recently, my blog became much more personal and opinionated and I started gathering some loyal readers, which I love. Some of those readers, as I suspected for a couple of reasons, turned out to be family members. In fact, I wrote about that HERE and and thanks to a few whiskeys on the rocks, I did confirm that my guess was correct. They have been reading it from almost the beginning but never gave me a shout out or let me know they were reading, even early on when things were very superficial. (Really, would it have been so hard to say , "Hey, love the blog."  Or 'Hi Jo, have a nice day."  I understand the internet is a public place.  With that, if they SAW me in a public place, I assume they would come over and say "hello" and acknowledge theirs and my presence and not sit in the corner and observe everything I do.  I think the same thing applies here.  You see me on the 'net?  Say hi.  Let me know you're here.)  I have discussed things about them recently and I can only assume feelings are hurt (one family member, to the best of my knowledge, does not know I know she has been reading). Though I didn't say anything I wouldn't have said directly to them if given the opportunity, I certainly would have been more gentle with my comments. The one member found my blog because at one point I inadvertantly used our last name. Toss that in with the blog title originally had my first name in it and used first names of my family members, and bada-bing - it popped right up in her search.

I never wanted this blog to be read by family. I don't even share it with a lot of my friends, though there are a few out there who I trust not to judge me. And while I regret that these family members have had to witness some of my comments, I don't plan to stop blogging as needed and I certainly don't want them reading about my mental health issues, my sex life, my red "get up" undies and so on. That is just something I don't need my in-laws, or any other family members, to know about me. Strangers? Yeah, I'm ok with that. So I hope you bloggy friends keep coming back.

I really wish I could have seen my face when my drunken family member fessed up about reading my blog, and that at least one other member was reading, too. Thankfully, I was in a great mood and all I could do was laugh and say "I KNEW it!" Then my husband walked in and I told him. Of course, he gave me the little lecture of "if you put it out on the 'net, you never know who will find it." He was not at all concerned and said he thinks my blog sounds exactly like me. That when he reads it, it's like I am sitting there talking to him. He even thought maybe I should keep the original blog and be the puppet master to the people involved, which are HIS family members. To see if I could get at least the one family member to do or not do things based on my writings. It sounded like fun, but that would still leave me vulnerable to their witnessing other thoughts and events that I prefer not to share with them. And I don't like to be vulnerable. (There. There it is. A little tidbit I don't need my family to know about me. Though I am sure it's obvious, I don't need them to know I am admitting to it.)

So here I am, at this new site. Undercover, using nicknames for myself and family. Hoping to remain under the radar. If I am discovered this time, so be it. I will not keep going deeper and deeper underground. I will only enter the witness protection program once. After that, if I am found, those who find me will have to deal with things themselves. At least they will know what they are getting into ahead of time and can choose to stop reading. Or not.